Manchester New Hampshire’s Statue of John Stark

Richard H. Reccia. Richard H. Recchia in his studio, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0071743

Richard H. Recchia in his studio, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0071743

Richard Recchia, a sculptor whose works were exhibited in more than a dozen museums around the country created the statue of John Stark, that sits in Stark Park in north Manchester, New Hampshire. That statue was installed in 1948, not far from the grave site of General John Stark.

Richard was born “Ricardo” in Quincy, Massachusetts but grew up and attended school in Boston, studying three years at the Boston Museum School of Art, and also in Europe.  He was assistant to sculptor Bela L. Pratt for 9 years.  He won more than a dozen medals and other honors at expositions and competitions in the United States and in Italy.

John Stark statue in Stark Park, Manchester NH, created by Richard Recchia. Copyright Janice Brown 2005

John Stark statue in Stark Park, Manchester NH, created by Richard Recchia. Copyright Janice Brown 2005.  The statue was installed in 1948, a short distance from John Stark’s burial place. The sword, missing at that time from the statue’s uplifted arm, has since been replaced.

A 1948 newspaper reported that the $40,000 Stark monument was made possible by Charles H. Bartlett who willed real estate to the City of Manchester NH to sell, and use the funds gained to create the statue.

Sculptor Richard Recchia designed the plaster cast from which the Stark statue was cast. It was shipped from Corona NY (where it was casted) and the sections assembled in Manchester NH. The casting of the statue itself took nine months and originally was in 16 pieces. The unveiling was held September 12, 1948.

A youthful looking Richard Recchia from a 1917 newspaper.

A youthful looking Richard Recchia from a 1917 newspaper.

 

In 1899″the Boston monument commission has examined and approved for a pier on the memorial stairway [at the entrance of the Boston Common at the foot of Joy Street] a bas-relief of Governor Guild by Richard H. Recchia.”    In 1911 it was announced: “Richard Recchia, the well known Boston sculptor, formerly a pupil of Bela Pratt and still associated with him in some of his work, has been commissioned by the Abyssinia Club of Great Boston to do a life-sized marble bust of Crispus Attucks, the negro victim of the Boston massacre in 1770. It is planned to exhibit the bust in a local institution, and then to present it to the city with the request that it be placed in some suitable place. The Abbyssinia Club is an organization of colored people interested in the drama. As no effort to secure any other memorial to Attucks than the shaft on the Common and the memorial tablet on State street has ever succeeded, the club has decided to take things into its own hands and pay for the bust by Mr. Recchia from the proceeds of dramatic entertainments” [Boston Herald, Boston MA, 28 December 1911, page 2].  It is unknown whether this was actually created, or not.

In 1909 the Boston Herald produced almost a full page spread showing his work and giving a history of Richard Recchia [see here the page in PDF format]. One source says his bas relief “Architecture” is carved in the facade of the Boston Museum of Art, however another source credits that to John Singer Sargent. [see comment section stating that this was indeed carved by Recchia, not Sargent]. The Boston Herald newspaper of 15 December 1926 states: “His [Recchia’s] figure panels on the Fenway facade of the Museum of Fine Arts are well known to the general public.”  This same bas relief called “Architecture,” was shown by Recchia at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915, in San Francisco California.

Side view of John Stark Statue, Stark Park. Photograph 2005 copyright Janice Brown

Side view of John Stark Statue, Stark Park. Photograph 2005 copyright Janice Brown

The 2 July 1916 issue of the Boston Herald announced that Richard Recchia was working on a memorial tablet to Sam Walter Foss for the Somerville Public Library. It was simple–a horizontal panel about six feet long with a central medallion in which the writer’s “strong and vigorous head” is modeled in high relief. On either side is a little ornamentation symbolical of Mr. Foss’ literary pursuits.

 

His sculpture “Mother Goose” was a permanent part of the children’s room at the Carnegie Library in Rockport MA, which closed in 1993.  The fate of the sculpture is unknown.

His sculpture can be found in the collections of many museums, including the National Museum of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and in private collections.

**Additional Reading**

Brief Biography, Richard Henry Recchia | Examples of his work

Rockport Art Association

Boy with Flute Bronze / Singing Boy 2 Bronze

Young Pan Playing A Flute, Head of a Boy

-National Academy Museum: Biography of Richard Recchia

-The Landmark Files:Richard and Kitty Recchia

****************************************
**FAMILY TREE OF RICHARD HENRY RECCHIA**
****************************************

Frank Recchia, son of Gaetano & Louisa Recchia, b. Oct 1861 in Verona, Italy; he m. 27 May 1885 in Quincy MA to Rosa/Roseanna Dondero, of Quincy MA, dau of Frank and Mary Dondero by George L. Gill, Justice of the Peace. She b. January 1870 in NY; Resided 59 Quincy Street in Boston MA; occupation granite (stone) cutter
————-
1900 United States Federal Census > Massachusetts > Suffolk > Boston Ward 7 > District 1250
Frank Recchia 38 Head M W Oct 1861 38 married 16 yrs Italy Italy Italy stone cutter, immigrated 1883
Rossa Recchia 29 wife W F Jan 1870 29 married 16 yrs NY Italy Vermont
Richard Recchia 14 son W M Nov 1885 14 single MA
Meleo Recchia 12 son W M Feb 1887 12 single MA
Frank Recchia 10 son W M Oct 1889 10 single MA
Rengald Recchia 9  W M Oct 1890 9 single MA
———————
U.S. Census > 1910 United States Federal Census > Massachusetts > Suffolk > Boston Ward 8 > District 1367
Louisa R Recchia 38  Head F W 39 m1x 22 yrs 4 ch 4 living NY Italy, VT
Richard R Recchia 22 son M W 22 single MA
Millard M Recchia 20 son W M 20 single MA
Franklin P Recchia 19 son M W single MA
John A Recchia 18 son M W 18 single MA
Viola Donday 10 niece F W 10 single MA NY Canada/English
Maude Comer 29 servant F W 29 single MA MA RI
John Kauffman 16 boarder M W 16 single Russia/Yiddish Rus-Yid Rus-Yid
Julius Graustein 19 Boarder M W 19 single Ger-Yid Ger-Yid Ger-Yid
——————————–
Children of Frank & Rosa/Rosanna Louisa (Dondero) Recchia:
1. +Ricardo aka Richard Henry Recchia, b. 20 Nov 1885 in Quincy MA
2. Ameleo R. “Meleo” Recchia, b. 24 January 1888 in Quincy MA
3. Willard/Millard Joseph Recchia, b. 16 October 1889 in Quincy MA [his WWI Registration states birth as 11 February 1888], florist
4. Franklin P. “Frank” Recchia, b. abt 1889; m. Mary E. –. In 1920 living in Sherborn MA with wife and children Franklin H. (age 6), Nathalie R. (age 4-1/2) and Norma D. (age 1-1/2).
5. Rengald “John” Recchia, b. Oct 1890 in MA; m. 5 Dec 1916 in Boston, Suffolk Co. MA to Mary E. Richard, daughter of Joseph & Catherine (McCoy) Richard.

Richard Henry Recchia, born Ricardo Recchia, son of Frank and Rosa Louisa (Dondero) Rocchia, was b. 20 November 1885 in Quincy MA and d. 17 Aug 1983 in Rockport Massachusetts, at the age of 98. He was a sculptor, mural painter, and illustrator. He married (both artists) 1st) by 1915 to Anita “Ana” Diaz.  She b. 26 Sep 1886 in Valparaiso, Chile, South America, and d. 26 March 1926.  He married 2d) by 1930 to Mary Catherine “Kitty” Parsons, dau of Henry Chapman & Catherine Davis (Leavitt) Parsons.  She b. 19 Aug 1899 in Stratford, Fairfield Co CT, and d. July 1976 in Gloucester MA.  She was a watercolor artist, especially of floral still life and marine painting, and poet. In 1942 Richard and Kitty were living in Rockport MA at 6 Summer Street. Richard Recchia was buried at the Beech Grove Cemetery in Rockport MA. [see a photograph of his headstone, which he designed].
——————————–
1920 United States Federal Census > Massachusetts > Suffolk > Boston Ward 8 > District 221 [Myrtle Street]
Recchia, Rose L. Head F W 49 married NY Italy Vermont
Recchia, Richard son M W 32 married MA Italy NY scupltor
Recchia, Anita, daughter in law F W 30 married Chile-Sp Spain Spain
Recchia, Richard E. grandson M W 5 single MA MA Chile-Sp
Recchia, Phyllis A. granddau F W 2-9/12 single MA MA Chile-Sp
Recchia, Mellard J. son M W 30 single MA Italy NY – florist store
Alden, Susan lodger F W 63 single MA MA MA
Reading, Kathylon lodger F W 23 single ME ME ME waitress
————
Boston Herald, March 30, 1926
Mrs. Richard Recchia, wife of Richard Recchia, the sculptor, died from pneumonia yesterday morning at the New England Baptist Hospital. She was 34 years old and a native of South America. Besides her husband, she is survived by two children. The family lived at the St. Botolph Studios, where Mr. Recchia has a studio.
————
U.S. Census > 1930 United States Federal Census > Massachusetts > Essex > Rockport > District 240
Recchia, Richard H. Head 25,000 M W 44 married at age 26 MA Italy NY sculptor, studio
Recchia, Mary K wife F W 39 Married at age 36 [so 3 yrs] CT NY NY Writer
Recchia, Richard E son M W 15 single MA MA South America
Recchnia, Felicia daughter F W 12 single MA MA South America
—————
WWI Draft Card
Richard Henry Recchia
2 Myrtle Street, Boston, MA
age 32, DOB: Nov 20, 1885
occupation: Sculptor, work for self
wife: Mrs. Anita D. Recchia (wife) same address
tall, medium build, brown eyes, dark brown hair
————————
Boston Passenger Lists, 1820-1943 > 1912 > November > Devonian
from Liverpool to Boston 31 Oct 1912
Recchia Richard H scupltor USA
Recchia Ana R. housewife [spanish]
————————
Massachusetts Death Index, 1970-2003 Record
Name: Richard H Recchia
Certificate: 041490
Death Place: Rockport
Death Date: 17 Aug 1983
Birth Place: Massachusetts
Birth Date: 20 Nov 1885
————————–
Social Security Death Index Record
Name: Richard Recchia
SSN: 010-28-2639
Last Residence: 01966  Rockport, Essex, Massachusetts,
Born: 20 Nov 1888
Died: Aug 1983
State (Year) SSN issued: Massachusetts (1951-1953 )
—————
Social Security Death Index Record
Name: Richard Recchia
SSN: 032-09-1266
Last Residence: 06475  Old Saybrook, Middlesex, Connecticut,
Born: 8 Jun 1914
Last Benefit: 06475  Old Saybrook, Middlesex, Connecticut
Died: Jul 1977
State (Year) SSN issued: Massachusetts (Before 1951 )
————-
Social Security Death Index Record
Name: Kitty Recchia
SSN: 010-28-2704
Born: 19 Aug 1889
Last Benefit: 01930  Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts
Died: Jul 1976
———————–
Children of Richard H. & Anita (Diaz) Recchia:
1. Richard E. Recchia, b. 8 June 1914 in Massachusetts, d. 29 July 1977 in Middletown CT.  Resided Old Saybrook CT. He married — Fann.
2. Phyllis Anita “Felicia” Recchia, b. abt 1917 in Massachusetts; d. 1935

Article originally written 25 September 2006, updated 2 April 2016.

 

This entry was posted in Military of New Hampshire, New Hampshire Men, Structures and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Manchester New Hampshire’s Statue of John Stark

  1. Hello, I am the granddaughter of Frederick Allen who knew Recchia well. He did, indeed, do the bas relief of Architecture on the left side of the façade of the Evans Wing of the MFA. The museum has a smaller version, a preliminary model, that was on display in the Evans Wing entry last year. Allen did the Painting relief on the opposite corner and their teacher, Bela Pratt, did the central panel on Sculpture.
    I have more information if you need it.
    Christina

  2. Pingback: Happy General John (aka Molly Stark’s Husband’s) Day: April 27, 2015 | Cow Hampshire

Leave a Reply